FunnyJunk is a website which publishes funny images. Many of these images are stolen from various sources – including hundreds stolen from TheOatmeal. When Matthew Inman, owner of TheOatmeal called out the owner of FunnyJunk.com for hosting lots of stolen comics, including a lot of Matthew’s material. The owner of FunnyJunk.com deleted some of them, but a large number still remained, some with attribution removed to hide the fact they’d come from TheOatmeal.
Matthew just left it at that, and the remaining stolen comics continued to be hosted on FunnyJunk without attribution or permission.
Recently, almost a year later, Charles Carreon, a lawyer who became famous in the 90s after successfully litigating sex.com, served papers on Matthew representing FunnyJunk, demanding that Matthew remove “false statements about FunnyJunk” from his website, and accuses Matthew of using SEO practices to attempt to come up when people search for “funnyjunk”. (Er, yes, a page written about FunnyJunk will indeed appear in search results for “funnyjunk” – that’s not SEO trickery or any negative action, that’s how the Internet works.)
Worse, though, he also demanded payment of $20,000 to be made! Er, yes, good luck demanding unsubstantiated amounts from a fellow citizen; as a lawyer, I’m sure you’d know that Matthew has no obligation to comply whatsoever, until you take a case in front of a judge, and get awarded damages; how you could substantiate that level of damages I’m not quite sure.
In response, Matthew launched a fundraiser, intended to raise the $20,000 demanded, which would then be donated to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation, two worthy causes. The $20,000 was raised in around an hour, and ballooned to an incredible sum of over $186,000 at time of writing – that’s an incredible achievement and something Matthew can be proud of.
Charles Carreon apparently took offense, though, and told a journalist at MSNBC that he “has sent a request to disable the fundraising campaign”. So, he wants to prevent the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation from receiving over $90,000 each? That seems like something that’ll make you popular.
Amazingly, he decided to go on and launch a lawsuit not only against Matthew, but also against IndieGoGo, the company hosting the donation appeal, who are uninvolved in the whole original bitchfight. That wasn’t dickish enough, though; he also decided to sue the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, who have no involvement other than being the intended recipients of the fundraising results.
Seriously, dude, what the fuck?
I can’t find better words to summarise the situation than these by Ken at Popehat in the link above:
Yes. Charles Carreon, butthurt that someone had leveraged his douchebaggery into almost two hundred thousand dollars of donations to two worthy charities, sued the charities.
Charles Carreon, I think you are indeed a grade-A douchebag. I do hope nobody will ever consider hiring you to represent them in future, except perhaps to unblock their toilets with your tongue. Matthew Inman, I’d like to buy you a beer.